Georgia Sen. David Perdue is facing backlash for mockingly mispronouncing Sen. Kamala Harris's name at a Trump campaign rally on Friday, with many people calling his remarks racist.
"Ka-MAL-a, Ka-MAL-a or Kamala, Kamala, Ka-mala, -mala, -mala, I don't know, whatever," Perdue said as the crowd in Macon, Georgia, burst into cheers and laughter before he introduced President Donald Trump.
That moment from his speech instantly went viral, and it was widely criticized on social media.
Perdue's communications director, John Burke, tweeted that the senator "simply mispronounced" Harris's name and "he didn't mean anything by it."
But many expressed doubt that Perdue would mispronounce the name of a colleague who sits on the Senate Budget Committee with him and who has served alongside the Republican lawmaker in the US Senate for years.